Archive for California

Desolation

CA Hwy 62

This is a view of the scenery we saw yesterday along CA Hwy 62 in San Bernadino County as we crossed the great desolate Mojave Desert on the last leg of our trip. Damsel took this photo after our departure from Twentynine Palms. We were just north of Joshua Tree National Park, which, in itself, is a very large chunk of real estate.

Other than a few lightly populated areas and the larger town of Parker, AZ, the trip yesterday had us looking at bare desert. The difference between the California deserts and Arizona deserts would be that there are saguaro cacti east of the Colorado River and not so much west of there.

Still, both deserts are amazing examples of geological variety and wonder, with scrub brush and jagged mountains. We enjoyed the crossing very much on a clear, calm and beautiful day.

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High Desert Camping

Twentynine Palms Resort

After the second leg (of three) on our return home, we find ourselves in Twentynine Palms in the Mojave, CA high desert. Today was an interesting drive which, in part, took us both to areas of the high desert where we had yet to see, to wit: Lucerne and Johnson Valleys. It is quite the scenic drive with desolate areas, giant rock formations and the usual desert flora and fauna.

The campground here is at elevation 1730 MSL according to the GPS. We are experiencing warmer weather than that we had in Northern California, where fall has definitely become quite brisk. Here, the temperatures are forecast for between lows of high fifties and highs of low eighties. We expect much of the same when we arrive home tomorrow.

Our drive tomorrow will be through the rest of the California Outback, across the Colorado river at Earp, CA/Parker, AZ and continuing through the Arizona Outback the rest of the way home. Weather and traffic are not expected to be factors during the last leg home.

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On The Move Again

Orange Grove RV Park

Tonight we’re camped in Bakersfield, California at the Orange Grove RV Park. The park is, literally, in an orange grove with spaces for RVs to park. Now that December is imminent, the warm weather parks fill up pretty fast. We were fortunate to get a space here and the park looks to be nearly full.

We had a great time over the last two weeks, camping and meeting with family. It’s a bittersweet thing to be heading home, but we’re already planning our next excursion to be with family again.

We’re going to be in the California High Desert tomorrow, stopping in Twentynine Palms overnight and then home on Saturday. In spite of having a lot of fun on the road and with family, we are looking forward to being home again and back into our retirement routine.

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Interim Destination

Home away from home

Our trip today was a fairly short one but a complication due to an overturned truck at our destination exit ramp extended our time by a half hour. Traffic was being allowed to move, but at a very slow pace. When we got in the queue in the right lane a half mile before the exit, traffic came to an almost dead stop. A traffic signal at the bottom of the ramp was metering cars onto the roadway at a very slow pace. We spent the last half hour of our trip within a quarter mile of our destination. </grumble>

We’re camping at a residence which is equipped with two out of three hookups for the RV: water and electric. If we stay long enough to fill the black tank, we can unhook and take a short drive to a Truck and RV stop that has a dump station. Most of the time, we will be showering and using the sanitary facilities in the house.

In spite of the aggravation on the road today, we’re in the motorhome at this time enjoying an adult beverage. When we arrived here, we had dinner and a nice visit with our hosts. In the long run, life is good.

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Alex Turns Three

Alex and his new cameraAlex, our eldest great grandchild (we have two total with another expected in November), was celebrating his third birthday today. Last May, when we were visiting the grandkids in Northern California, I let little Alex “borrow” my little pocket sized Canon A710IS. At 2½ years old, he managed to take a few good photos among the messed-up ones you might expect from a kid that age.

So, for his birthday today, we sent him a Kid Zoom Camera designed for kids 3 to 8 years old. The photo above shows him with his new camera just after opening it.

We will likely return to Northern California later this year to celebrate the arrival of Alex’s little brother. We shall see what progress Alex has made with being an expert photobug at that time.

Photo via FecesBook™ posted by my eldest granddaughter. Click on the image to enlarge.

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Camping - Stockton, CA

Stockton

Pulled into Damsel’s Sister’s driveway to set up for a few days visit. This is less than full-on camping, since we are house guests except when we sleep in the RV.

There were other things on the agenda for the ladies, like shopping and getting manicures and haircuts in town. Us guys watched baseball and hung out while they were doing their thing.

We did take a side trip to the north SF Bay area to visit with a couple of the grandkids and their children, the “Greats.” The little girl was just nineteen days old, but Great Grandson Alex is two and a half and developing quite a personality. We enjoyed that part of the visit very much.

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Camping - Visalia, CA

Visalia Camping Spot

Well, we’re camped here in the Central California Valley, about 25 miles west of the Sequoia National Forest. It’s a nice little KOA park away from the highway in an industrial/residential/agricultural and recreational area. Yep - some of each.

We are relaxed and comfortable after a fairly challenging commute from the LA Basin through the Grapevine and up the California central valley. It goes without saying that there was traffic and partial blockage as we departed the basin. In the mountain passes, we struggled with gusty crosswinds which adds a new dimension to driving a nearly 36 foot “slab side” RV. Needless to say we were relieved to arrive safely at our destination and campsite for the evening.

Tomorrow will find us, God willing, at Damsel’s sister’s place up the road from here. We’re planning on spending several days there before heading back home via the long way through Nevada, Utah and Northern Arizona. There will be another “camping at” photo tomorrow or the next day.

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